Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Struggling to Relinquish

I've been giving a lot of thought to my word for 2012--it hasn't been easy for me to RELINQUISH.  I have decided there is a difference between relinquishing and "supporting".  As Heidi prepares to go in next Tuesday for her third surgery in less than a month, I am so grateful that I will be able to go down to Utah to support her.

A couple of Saturdays ago I had the opportunity to go to a Fireside where our speaker talked a lot about our need to "surrender"-- to really turn things over to the Lord.  (Not that I think surrendering would be any easier than relinquishing--both are difficult for me.)

I could go into a lot of detail about his talk, but I don't think I could explain properly what he was trying to say, except that we need to learn to "surrender" to know that He knows better than we do, and to remember that the Atonement "covers" everything.

I guess the bottom line is I really need to trust more--really to have greater faith in Christ, not so much in the outcome of things.  When I don't see desired blessings coming, I have to trust in Him and in His timing.  He is mindful of us, I know that for sure.  One of the things I am so grateful for is that I know "Where (I) Can Turn for Peace".  I have spent a lot of time on my knees--so grateful to know He is there.  He really is the only one that I can turn to, the only one that can calm my troubled heart.  At the same time, I'm grateful for family and friends who are there to lend a shoulder when I need it.  I'm especially grateful for my husband who is such a great example to me.

Recently I was looking over President Monson's message in this month's Ensign.  I loved his challenge to all of us:  " undertake a personal, diligent, significant quest for what I call the abundant life—a life filled with an abundance of success, goodness, and blessings."

And then when I read his ABC's, I couldn't help but think of Heidi and Daniel.
  • Have a positive Attitude
  • Believe in yourself
  • Face Challenges with Courage
I appreciate so very much their faith and determination.  I marvel at their wisdom.  I have come across a number of people in my life who are wise beyond their years--that description fits the two of them.  I know this challenge isn't easy.  The most amazing thing to me, I have yet to hear these words come out of their mouths "Why me?"  NOT ONCE.

Prayers would definitely be appreciated.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Grandchildren--Pride & Joy #5, Josh

It has been well over a month since I did my last grandchild pride and joy post???  So much has been going on, but I decided it was time to get back to these.  I still have several grandchildren to go so I thought I better get busy ; )

So now it is time to present Pride & Joy #5--Joshua Allan Lee.  Here he is with Uncle Brent just a little over a month after he was born in November of 1989

We were living in North Carolina when he was born, so we had a chance to visit with his folks on a few occasions while we lived there.  Fun times.  (We have been able to spend more time with some of our children and grandchildren than with others.  I guess that's just a part of life--a tough part.

Josh was about 8 months old when we had a big reunion in Idaho and then one with just our little family where we went to Utah.

He and his brother had lots of pictures taken together throughout the years.  They were just the cutest little boys.

He had the cutest little smile and today he is a very handsome young man ; )

One of my favorite pictures of me with Josh and his big brother, Evan.  This was 1994 when they came to Reno.

A few years later we had another reunion in Utah--this time we went to Park City.

Now before I talk about the little incident at Park City, I need to explain that he is incredibly athletic and coordinated.  He is an amazing basketball player:

He participated in most sports.

The real problem is he is fearless!!!!

In the last Pride & Joy post, when I wrote about our trip to Park City, I said I would tell you about Josh and his "fun" on the Skeleton.  Something I don't like to think about--not a fun memory because I don't like to watch people in pain.  As I said, this boy is fearless and decided to go down the hill without EVER USING THE BREAK and that meant DISASTER.   And the result was UGLY.  He was pretty much covered in little pieces of gravel.  Thank goodness his Uncle Stephen was willing to sit there and pick those pebbles out--for whatever reason Stephen wasn't squeamish ; )  This picture was before and shows mistake #1--A SLEEVELESS SHIRT ; (

This gives you a pretty good idea of what it was like coming down that hill--it's not Josh.

I wasn't going to put an "after" picture, but here it is.  Yes, we can all say OUCH!!!!

This boy is not a member of the Church but has a GREAT testimony of the power of the Priesthood.  His Grandpa gave him a blessing after the accident and he knows how quickly he healed.  When people asked him about the accident he told them, I got a blessing and it "worked"--I healed quickly.

In 2003 we brought all the kids to Winnipeg to celebrate Allan's 60th.  Such a fun time--one day I took the kids to the beach.

In 2006 we took this picture of him with his mom and his brother when we had a mini reunion.

Here is one of his graduation photos--he is such a handsome young man.

The day of his high school graduation.  (And that little Sadie is such a beauty ; )

We had a great trip to Hawaii in 2008 to celebrate Grandma's 90th birthday.

Enjoying the luau:

He is such a fun kid.  This picture makes me laugh.  Yes, we were at a restaurant, but Josh didn't care--notice the look the woman at the other table is giving him ; )

He loves his nephew, Xander.  There are so many pictures of the two of them together, but I love this one of him helping Xander.  This was taken when Allan and I drove down to Indiana for a visit in September.

And, he loves his Papa Allan.

He is currently working for a small packaging company--no not the ones with the Brown trucks--THE OTHER GUYS ; )  I wish I had a chance to see him more often.  He knows how to give GREAT hugs. Sure do love this young man.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Birthday Week


It has been such a great birthday week.  As I mentioned in my birthday post, I had a busy day.  I got these beautiful flowers from Neal and Macy and the kids.  Aren't they beautiful?

My photography class was so fun.  I am learning so much.  Shhhh, don't tell anyone, but I have always shot in auto mode, so this is a whole new world for me.  I can't believe how little I knew about my camera--all this stuff about ISO, shutter speed, aperture, and light metering????  And we even have assignments--just wish it wasn't so cold because I really want to go outside and take pictures, but everything is WHITE!!!!

And do you know what I got in the mail on Friday????  This fun little recorder

and it had Elder Rob playing seven different piano arrangements--Keep the Commandments, I Believe in Christ, If You Could Hie to Kolob, Oh How Lovely Was the Morning, etc.  Each of them were his own arrangements.  It was so fun to listen to them.  And, of course, at the end was a little message from him.  It was so perfect.  It's funny but I remember this little boy every February playing at the Pianothons ; )

And, of course, my sweetheart got home last night.  SMILE ; )  I sure love him and am always so much happier when he gets home.

This morning we attended a memorial for a beautiful lady in our Stake.  She had a stroke on December  12 and passed away a few days later on her 95th birthday.  One of my favorite things I heard at her memorial was "a lot of people spend a lifetime "learning a living" but never learn how to "live".  I loved that.   The wonderful thing was recognizing that this women is still a great example to all of us--even after she is gone.

Then tonight rather than going out to dinner, we brought in Chinese food.  I LOVE CHINESE FOOD.  It was so cold outside, I really didn't want to go out so just sitting at home and enjoying it together was lovely.

And, I guess really the celebration will continue.  Heidi said when I come down to Utah when she has her next surgery we will celebrate my birthday.  HEY, I'M GAME!!!  I will celebrate ANYTIME.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


TODAY IS MY BIRTHDAY!!!  And I can't believe it is my 61st!!!  (I decided to use this picture that one of my sister's posted on our family website.  She thinks it was taken at my high school graduation celebration.  It's funny I still remember that mohair sweater ; )

When we were in Utah my SIL's called me upstairs and wanted to talk to me.  They seemed very serious and were all concerned because they didn't want to step on my toes.  They wondered why everyone else's birthday is on the calendar on the family website and NOT MINE.  I told them, it felt funny to put my own on there ; )


So I put it on, and in fact, it reads "Happy Birthday to Me--Yvonne".  I am the administrator of our family website.  On most everyone's birthday I get up early and try to post a picture and a birthday message.  I appreciate Neal who has posted mine in the past--thanks, Neal.  (I had every intention of getting on our family website this morning and posting a message, but Neal did it last night.  Thanks, Neal ; )

Heidi asked me what I was doing for my birthday and I told her Allan is out of town so we won't be going to dinner until Saturday.  It really is okay.  I have a fairly busy day planned--Boot Camp at 6 am--at least I've had a week to get back into Boot Camp mode;  Doctor appointment;  lunch with a couple of friends and then PHOTOGRAPHY CLASS.  All in all a GREAT DAY.  So, I may have to just relax on Wednesday--after all, at my age, I need lots of rest.

Let me just add some memories of growing up.  This will show you how old I really am:
  • I still remember the first time my sisters and I went out to dinner at a restaurant.  We had the best laugh ever when they brought us our ice cream for dessert--the tiniest scoop of ice cream we had ever seen.  We laughed and laughed and laughed.
  • Walking to the grocery store with my mother to buy a hot dog and a drink for a dime--yes, a dime.
  • Going to the Five and Dime to get penny candy.
  • Some guys from NASA coming to our school and announcing one day we'd walk on the moon--MY FRIENDS AND I LAUGHED SO HARD.  We thought--SURE WE WILL!!!!
  • Being so scared when we thought we were going to war--Cuban Missile Crisis.
  • My dad dying.
  • The assassination of President Kennedy--what were going to do without a President.   (It was only a few months after my dad had died and life had changed so much.)
  • The first time we saw color on TV--BONANZA.  I still remember Little Joe and the gang riding up on their horses.
  • My mom getting sick and my sisters and I being taken away from home and becoming "Wards of the County".
  • Junior High School--YUCK!!!!
  • My mom dying and not knowing what was going to happen to us.
  • Helen and Les rescuing us.
  • Starting high school.  Friday night football games.
  • Going to get my driver's license--after failing the first time. 
  • Summer jobs--working at the Naval Air Station and the Nut House (no, not that kind of Nut House) 
  • Cruising the strip on the weekends--thank goodness gas was so cheap.
  • Graduating from high school and flying to Florida to visit my sister, Judy--my first plane ride.
  • Apollo 11 landing on the moon.
  • Becoming a mom and not knowing the first thing about taking care of a baby.
There have been many wonderful memories since I became a mom the first time.  There have been a lot of firsts in my life--a lot of great adventures.

It's funny when I think about the things that we would see in the future--things that were so amazing when they first came out:
  • Contact lenses
  • Clothes dryers
  • Computers--it's crazy when you think about how the first computers were HUGE and now look at what we have
  • Internet
  • HBO and Showtime--I remember when I first heard about pay TV, in my mind all I could see was a TV with coin slots where we would put in money to watch ; )
  • Microwave ovens--I love microwave popcorn--can't tell you how much popcorn I burned trying to pop it on the stove.
  • Bottled water:  I wonder what my folks would think about our paying for water?
  • Digital cameras
  • Cell phones--Who'd have thought that one day we would be texting one another???
  • Record players to 8 tracks to Cassette Tapes to CD's to iPods
  • Fast food
  • Travel
  • Dishwashers--THANK GOODNESS FOR DISHWASHERS, but seriously, can't they figure out a way to have them load and unload by themselves???
  • TIVO
  • eBooks
It's so exciting to see how the world has changed.  (I'm sure I'm forgetting so many things--these are just the ones that have come to my mind)   I didn't even touch on how many advances there have been in medicine.  I am so grateful for them, and I pray that there will continue to be great advances.

And, of course, there have been so many changes in TV, movies and music.  Everything is so different.
Not to mention, there have been so many changes in fashion.

For me, the greatest change that took place in my life, took place in 1974 when I was baptized.  Coming to realize that I am a daughter of God and that my life has a purpose has brought me so much joy and peace.  I AM SO VERY GRATEFUL.

And, obvously, meeting my knight in shining armor has been such a great blessing.  I SO LOVE THIS MAN AND LOVE OUR LIFE TOGETHER.

And becoming a mother, grandmother and great-grandmother has brought me so much joy.  I HAVE A GREAT FAMILY who makes each and every day of my life EVEN BETTER.

Here's to another 30 or 40 years. 

Monday, January 9, 2012


Let me begin by thanking you all for your concern for Heidi.  She is still in the hospital recovering and we are hoping and praying that things will start working soon.

My sister-in-law, Bev, who was with Heidi most of the day on Thursday before Daniel could get to the hospital, took this picture right before Heidi went into surgery.

(Goodness, if you could see pictures of me whenever I have been in the hospital you'd know I NEVER LOOKED THAT GOOD.  (Face it, my hair never looks that good.  Heidi has always been GREAT with her hair--actually, she was forced to learn to do something, after all she had a mother that did a horrible job with her hair when she was young ; )

On Saturday, one of my friends who along with her husband is serving a mission at the Family History Center, went up to the hospital to visit her.  She sent me an e-mail and wrote:

"We were able to see Heidi this evening and were expecting to see her lying there looking pale and ill but instead we walked in and she looked like she was going to a prom!  She was sitting up in bed and had her hair all cute in an updo and earrings and was reading her scriptures!  How is that for a picture."

Thanks, Elder and Sister W., for going up there and visiting her.  Thanks also to my sister-in-law, Bev, who has been right there.  It's wonderful to have family and friends who are willing to be your hands when you can't be there.  

I love this girl so much.  While she has been in the hospital, she has had to embrace several words and phrases:  patience, hopefully, give it time, etc.  I know it has been difficult but she and Daniel have maintained such a positive attitude.  (I am so grateful he is right there with her)

SIDENOTE:  I received a photo CD from Elder Rob.  Love this picture of he and his Zone on P Day when they went to play Laser Tag.  (He's in the back in the yellow shirt ; )

Also, just to assure me that he is getting plenty to eat, he sent this one:

Thursday, January 5, 2012


Last year, my one word resolution was "Recognize".  I worked hard to recognize the hand of the Lord in my life.  It made for a great year.

I wanted to have another great experience this year and have given this a lot of thought.  I have decided I'm going with the word RELINQUISH.

If you know me or have read my blog for any length of time, you know I struggle with control issues.  I want to fix people's problems, and, I ALWAYS KNOW WHAT'S BEST!!!!  (One of my favorite songs from any Disney movie would have to be "Mother Knows Best" from Tangled ; )  Thank goodness my kids are not at home, or I would be singing it to them ALL THE TIME.

Seriously, I know I do not know what's best for everyone, but I want to do my best to help them.  I have a tough time letting go and recognizing that I can't always fix the problem.  Sometimes, things have to play out; sometimes they have to go through a particular problem; and sometimes they have created the problem and have to work it out on their own.

This year I am going to work really hard letting go and letting THEM work through their own issues/problems.  I know I need to allow them to TRUST IN THE LORD WITH ALL THEIR HEART.



With that being said, one of the hardest things for me to do is to not head to the airport and get on a plane going to Utah to help Heidi.  (The above picture was actually taken after her last surgery)  She had surgery again this evening.  Things were not healing like the doctor had hoped and so he decided to take out the damaged part of her colon--he ended up taking out about a foot and a half of the "stretched" colon.   Apparently, that part of the colon was wrapped around the healthy colon and "strangling" it.  I'm so glad she went in and got it taken care of.

I do TRUST IN THE LORD and know that He is mindful of her.  Hoping that things heal quickly.

I will definitely head to Utah in a couple of months for the next surgery

Wednesday, January 4, 2012



Wishing you all a very Happy New Year.  Looking forward to a wonderful 2012.  So many things to look forward to.

2011 was a pretty good year.

JANUARY--The month began with the arrival of Baby L.

And she just celebrated her 1st birthday yesterday.

Heidi and Daniel came to Winnipeg and we had a reception here.

On my 60th birthday I got on a plane for Texas to meet my newest granddaughter.

FEBRUARY--Baby Blessing Tour begins.  It was so wonderful to see family and to be in California when Georgia was blessed.

So glad to have Neal there for the blessing.

MARCH--The second leg of the Baby Blessing Tour continued with a trip to Texas.  Such a great trip.  So much to see and the culmination of the trip was Baby L's blessing.

APRIL--The announcement of the Winnipeg Temple. So exciting.

MAY--The highlight of Mother's Day was skyping with our Elder.  Such a treat.

JUNE--My very first half-marathon.  All I could think of was--I DID IT!!!!

And then a few days later poor Brent had hernia surgery--glad I was there ; )

JULY--Our first visit to Minot to help with the flooding--overwhelming to see the devastation.  It was so great to be part of the service project.

AUGUST--Going back to Minot to help with the clean-up.

SEPTEMBER--Another marathon, but the best part was getting to see family in Indiana, especially my little great grandson.  By the way, there will be another one coming this year!!!!  So very excited.

OCTOBER--Our fabulous trip to Switzerland.  Such a great trip to visit the sites and see Amanda and Darren.

NOVEMBER--Celebrating American Thanksgiving with Elder Rob's buddies.  I've had some great Thanksgivings, but there was something special about this one with them.

DECEMBER--A couple of things made for a great December:

Our missionary Christmas dinner

Spending time with family in Utah is always a treat.  Allan's two sisters are always so great to open up their home to us.  There was lots going on.  We ate way too much, but it was worth every calorie and every pound ; )  So many fun conversations and great laughs.

Christmas Eve--

And Christmas Day--

Being able to skype with our little Elder

A trip to Temple Square to see the lights.

All in all it was a great year.  Still trying to decide on my word for 2012!!!

Update on Heidi:  She was released from the hospital on Monday and is now home recovering.  It's hard being so far away, but I know she is in good hands.

Update on Our Elder:  In his e-mail on Monday he told us he had jammed his pinky finger playing basketball on New Years Eve.  After review of the x-rays the doctors determined he had a slight fracture.  

REVISED UPDATE ON HEIDI:  Unfortunately, her doctor has readmitted her into the hospital.  I will wait until tomorrow to determine if I will get on a plane and head back to Utah.  Things are not working like they should and we may be looking at an emergency surgery ; (  Grateful for prayer, but sure wish I wasn't so far away.